California State University representatives met with state legislative leadership in Sacramento March 7 to advocate for a fully funded CSU.

Throughout the day, CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White along with CSU trustees, presidents, and student, faculty and staff representatives met with state lawmakers to illustrate the CSU's vital contributions to the state and discuss the university's 2018-19 operating budget request.

The CSU trustees' 2018-19 support budget requests an additional $263 million in state funding to fund student success and completion initiatives and other priorities including compensation, student enrollment, mandatory costs, and academic facilities and infrastructure needs.

Governor Brown's 2018-19 budget proposal released in January allocated just $92.1 million, leaving a $170.9 million shortfall. The proposal translates to a 1.4 percent increase to the CSU's operating budget that is half the rate of inflation and is $61 million short of what is needed to cover mandatory cost increases.

While speaking to the CSU delegation before the day's meetings, Chancellor White emphasized the fact that the CSU has priorities that are shared by many decision makers in the capitol, including improving graduation rates, ensuring student access, and fair compensation for faculty and staff.

"We can only reach these shared priorities through predictable, sufficient and sustainable investment from the state," White said.

In May, Governor Brown will issue his budget revision, which includes changes to the proposed budget based upon the latest economic forecasts. CSU leaders, students, faculty, staff, alumni and other stakeholders will continue these advocacy efforts with the governor and legislature through the remainder of the budget cycle in June.

Interested parties can also engage the CSU and legislators to encourage adequate funding for the university via social media by using the hashtag #chooseCSU. An investment in the CSU is an investment in our shared priorities, and in California's future.